That strong, need-them-on-board professional who sets the rules of your industry? You, Rock Star. You. | 2023 05 02 : Specify. Sell. Repeat.

photo “Animal Crossing” by Katrina Cooper-Hinton

A few days ago, I had a business event. Something that I could not not go to, if I considered myself a professional who could help business owners, artists and Rock Stars.
It was a unique opportunity to get an understanding of what it was they had to deal with on a daily basis.
Things specific to their industry.

From what I have seen so far – and feel free to optimistically disagree with me but –
So far I have seen every industry being some variation of totally fucked up. Just that the party ending up with the short end of the stick, differs.

The first option is that the short end of the stick goes to the independent or the entrepreneur/ business. Depending on how they identify.
This is by far the most common one, in terms of numbers because there is an array of professions you would not even be able to land a payroll job, even if you moved heaven and earth. And hell.
You simply have no other option than to do your work as an independent professional, and in all probability while having close to zero training, knowledge nor affinity with running a business and making money.
If I was sarcastic I would say: “Good luck with that one.”
But actually, it is easy to tackle.

The key to stepping up your game if you have an identifiable profession in a certain field (with diplomas, a professional association, and the same one business model 99.9 of the industry uses) is to stop seeing yourself as that profession, and start seeing yourself as:
Business owner.

And also to start (if you had not already) seeing yourself as the breadwinner for yourself, your family, your cats, pets and others dependent on you, but also;
Start seeing yourself as the breadwinner for your future self.

What would 88 year old you wish they had made in 2023?

So the majority of “business-owners” working in fucked-up industries comes from professionals who really had no other choice than to work as an independent.
But they never got the blessing, the freedom, the inspiration, to really rock their business. A
nd they are tied down by rules (spoken and unspoken) that keep them and their business small.

The other part of fucked-up-ness comes from industries who either run entirely on the financial market, meaning no actual value is created, and from industries who work around loop holes in legislation and the exploitation of workers, use of natural resources, and producing toxins and waste.
Nothing stops you from letting your product be manufactured in countries where less strict rules apply.
In this case the true costs, the short end of the stick, is passed on to workers, poor countries, and onto pollution of the earth as a whole.

And more long-stick/short-stick areas are created due to privatization of public services.

This could be a situation limited to the Netherlands but in the 20th century, many professionals in the Netherlands still had a job for, or were compensated by, government organizations.
However, government sold off our public services, which first showed in  commercial insurance companies being in charge of public health care  (what could possibly go wrong) and foreign companies owning our utilities (water, gas, electricity).
So far for the long end of the stick.

Because now, 25 years later, the short end off the stick has also developed in the Netherlands;
Professionals who can no longer rely on government organizations paying their bills. They now have to juggle allowances, patient-budgets, and are dependent on a myriad of organizations to come up with the funding for what used to be a payroll job or clear and reliable funding structures, for health care professionals.
In 25 years, waiting lists and people not getting the care they need, have become standard, in Dutch health care and social services. 

So when I say every industry is rigged, I mean there are two categories.

The long end of the stick of an industry understands how to make money from it.
And how to draw all that money flow, straight into their pockets.
Within these industries, the white dove companies are the ones who restrain  and regulate their own business, put clients first, and do not suck dry every pocket at every opportunity.

The short end of the stick are professionals who have internalized being responsible, dutiful, in service and of service.
Those who want to be part of the community and create a better world.
Yet, in the process they are keeping themselves and each other small and accept, and to an extend create, financial risks for themselves and their loved ones.

There are more reasons and ample examples, explaining why “an industry” is rarely a healthy starting point, if you want to build a business. 
But I think you get the point.

But there are also plenty of keys, to unlock the gates to greener pastures.
Ways, to create your own green meadows.

No one deserves to be bound by the small-thinking of their industry. Where the yoke of being dutiful, would have you struggling in circles forever.

But we should also have an understanding of how evil is created. An understanding how to keep our business from becoming  a monster that sucks dry or burns down once luscious lands.

And the way to do that, to prevent both undercharging as well as financially destructive behavior, is by seeing your business through the eyes of your 88 year old self.
Have you taken care of them?
Are you making money in a way that supports them?
But also:
Have you created a world they want to live in?
Do they look back on their company, their career, proudly?

Maybe they are still in business!
Your 2023 self could design a business so that it can both financially support your 88 year old self;
As well as be a source of joy and connection, for the rest of your life.

I didn’t go to the business event. I wanted to, and a two hour afternoon nap and 7 fudge chunks later, I still did not see I was resenting it.
Until the hour drew near, and I wondered;
“What do I want more, cleaning my house or going to the business event?”
And then (this could have saved me xxx calories and 2 hours) I realized I didn’t want to go.
So I didn’t.

But I kept thinking about it; Why?
Why didn’t I want to go?
And I realized it is because I started Catacombe, this company for Rock Stars, artists and business owners, not because I don’t know how problematic most if not all industries are.
I started it because I think that’s looking in the wrong place.

We are not our industries.
We are artists, Rock Stars, business owners, and we need to start thinking and acting for ourselves.
And start being here for our clients, our customers, and our fans.

The way to do this is to ask yourself;
“How can I create a product or service, that I would love to sell everyday?”

Not, whatever it is that is common for your industry to sell.
Not, what you think you should sell, or what would sell.
But instead ask yourself:

What is the thing, delivered in the easiest, most fun way for me personally, that would excite me to be in business?*

So that next time you get an invitation to an event in your industry?
You can go if you want to, but you never have to.

Because you are now what we all desire to be;

become the Rock Star you were born to be

* Every week I offer 1 or 2 spots to an entrepreneur, artist or Rock Star who wants to break the chains of their industry and design their own unique offer; NOW!
It is called Specify. Sell. Repeat. and I sell it every week, on my socials:
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn


Specify. Sell. Repeat.



A one-on-one workshop for you, artist, professional, creative or entrepreneur.
You are already deeply in love with what you do, but the financial result?
Not so much.

In one 2 hour session, we’re going to extract the service or product you would love to sell, and under the conditions that suite your agenda.

It is called:
Specify. Sell. Repeat.
And it is not in my standard offerings- it will be scheduled weekly, on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

The introductory price of “Specify. Sell. Repeat.” is € 297, which is again not something I usually share because Catacombe works with full confidentiality, including its prices.

But it demonstrates what it looks like to make your offers specific;
Specify a what (a 2 hour session), when (next week), and the price.

For your business we’re going to look for something that’s:
🎯 in your zone of genius
📏 can be made specific (what, when, how)
💎delivers clear value to your client
🌊And is powerful yet effortless

In “Specify. Sell. Repeat.” we’re taking what it is you love doing, and design it into a service or product.
A true gem, that you would love to sell daily;
Creating happy customers, and a happy you!

Let’s create your ready-to-sell offer, and email me at
Include a link to your current company website, or website as an independent; or a social platform you actively use for business.

Your application always remains confidential and if I can help you, we start right away.
All applications are treated with respect and dignity.

I look forward to seeing you.

You got this!


That strong, need-them-on-board professional who sets the rules of your industry?
You, Rock Star. You.

| 2023 05 02 : Specify. Sell. Repeat.
is the tenth Catacombe Rock Star post

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Catacombe offers international Rock Star mentoring & business coaching:

& I offer in-person business coaching in Nijmegen.

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